GOD’s GREAT CREATION MESSAGE (Job 38 - 42)
In the latter part of the Book of Job, after he and his friends had conversed for most of this account, God came into the picture in a whirlwind! As He did so, He spoke to Job and his friends using His Own handiwork: a tornado! He used stars, the earth, animals, and more as He revealed Himself to those men at that time and to us today. Toward the end of this greatest of all creation messages, God spoke of behemoth and leviathan, two incredible creatures that brought about an awesome response in Job!
BEHEMOTH IS A DINOSAUR
This summer, we were intrigued to learn that the noted author, Warren Wiersbe, believes that behemoth was referring to a hippo and that descriptions of leviathan were “poetic” descriptions of a crocodile. Concerning leviathan, the Scripture says:
“Out of his (leviathan) mouth go burning lamps and sparks of fire leap out” (Job 41:19)
Concerning this creature, Wiersbe wrote in a commentary entitled, Be Patient:
“In verses 12-24, God gave a poetical description of this great creature’s mighty limbs, fierce teeth, and strong jaws, and impregnable covering (vv. 12-17). When the crocodile churns up the river and blows out water, the sun reflects the vapor; and it looks like fire and smoke from a dragon’s mouth.” (emphasis added)
It is inconceivable how one could make such an illogical comparison and explain away Scripture this way. It is clear that likenesses are made when “like the eyelids of the morning” (v. 18) and “as out of a seething pot or caldron” (v. 20) are used. However, in verse 19 we read that “sparks of fire leap out” and verse 21 clearly states, “…a flame goeth out” of his mouth. By saying these statements in Job are “poetic” (and not literal in the references to these particular animals), Wiersbe has done an injustice against Scripture in making these verses refer to a known animal that does not breathe fire! Perhaps this assessment is due to an a priori belief that fire-breathing dragons are elements of ancient mythology and NOT true creatures that existed at some point in recorded history. Rather, the descriptions given in Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-34 best describe what we today refer to as “dinosaurs.” More specifically, Job 40 would most likely refer to some type of sauropod while leviathan would be a fearsome, fire-breathing reptile of some kind, perhaps the plesiosaur called kronosaur.
After detailed descriptions of behemoth and leviathan, Job’s response is clear. First, he recognizes God’s omnipotence and omniscience:
“I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. (42:2)
Then, his own inadequacy: “I uttered that I understood not;” (42:3)
But most revealing of all is his recognition of spiritual need:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I repent in dust and ashes.” (42:5, 6)
If God so used His creation in this way to reveal Himself, and Job responded in repentance, should not we likewise proclaim God’s handiwork today? Job and his friends were good men, but good men are sometimes very wrong. In a message entitled, “Flood Theology in the Book of Job,” Dean Kenneth Sheets of the Tabernacle Baptist Seminary in Virginia Beach pointed out at our first Conference on Biblical Creation that men sometimes use outward circumstances as a standard for “righteousness.” If there is an illness, it must be because of sin. If church attendance is down, there must be disobedience. On the other hand, if things are going well, then men think that God must be blessing their obedience. However, judgments such as these are made by fallible men who know not all of God’s purposes in a given situation.
We do know from the “rest of the story” that Job’s sufferings were not because of his sin. Rather, they were allowed by the Creator in order to reveal Himself to mankind. How did He reveal Himself? Through His creation. What was the response of Job? Repentance, the first step toward revival…TRUE revival that comes from a vision of the KING of the universe, the Creator. More than anything else, people need a fresh vision of the LORD, the GOD-Who-IS, the Creator of the universe. Since God used His animals (behemoth, leviathan–dinosaurs), a very good place to begin a fresh vision of the Creator is with a new look at DINOSAURS!